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Tim Wakefield would consider playing for another team

May 11, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT

Tim Wakefield AP

When Tim Wakefield took what was, essentially a year-to-year contract with the Red Sox, and even since that deal expired, it seemed pretty clear that his preference was either to play in Boston or not play at all.  But as Rob Bradford of WEEI reports, that’s not necessarily the case:

Tim Wakefield, who will become the oldest player in Red Sox history to participate in a game with the next pitch he throws, talked Tuesday night about the chance he might play for another organization. “It depends on the situation. I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said prior to the Sox’ game against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. “I want to retire a Red Sox, but I’m going to rule that out.”

He said he wasn’t going to go crazy, specifically saying that he wouldn’t move his family — which is based in Florida — way the heck out to Seattle or something. But he did say, when prompted, that sure, Florida or Tampa Bay could be a good fit.

Of course this all seems more theoretical than anything else.  Wakefield turns 45 this summer. He has given up 17 runs on 22 hits in 21 innings so far this year and was no great shakes last year either.  Knuckleballers never really die, but they do fade away and Wakefield seems to be fading.

But I bet he’d rock the Old Timers Game for a couple of decades after he retires. Assuming the Sox have one, which now that I think about it, I don’t believe they do.  Somebody get on that, OK?

  1. BC - May 11, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    His knuckleball used to drop off the table. Now its a 50-50 proposition. And he’s no longer to mix in an 80 mph fastball with those 60 mph knucklers.
    But he CAN’T retire. Either he stays active the rest of this year, and then Moyer comes back next year, or I’m officially old. I think they’re the only 2 active players older than me (43 going on 44).

    • BC - May 11, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      Actually, Matt Stairs might be older than me. I’ll have to look.

    • BC - May 11, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      Nope. Stairs is 6 months younger than me.

  2. Jack Marshall - May 11, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    Wake’s fast ball never hit 80, unless the wind was behind him. And his knuckler was always a 50-50 proposition. The problem this year and last is that it’s a feel pitch, and the less he pitches, the less effective the knuckler is likely to be. Right now I’d rather see him out there every 5 days than John Lackey.

    I saw the first two Old Timer’s games; I believe the Red Sox have had three total. In the second one, I believe, Smoky Joe Wood “threw” out the first pitch.

    • BC - May 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      When he was with the Pirates and first with the Red Sox, he could hit 80 – albeit once or twice a game. I doubt he can hit 70 now.
      The knuckler just seems to hang a lot more than even a couple years ago. Maybe they need to use him more out of the pen? Or like you said, staple Lackey to the bench.

      • cur68 - May 11, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        No, don’t staple Lackey to the bench. He’s due up tonight against my beaver boys. Since it’s Jesse Hagar Litsch going up against the noticeably improved Sox hitting, we need Lackey on the mound to have a chance. Frankly Wakefield isn’t much better at the moment, but Bautista needs fastballs to keep lining shots over the left field fence in a reliable and predictable manner.

      • Jack Marshall - May 11, 2011 at 11:04 AM

        I’d say there’s no basis for doubting Wakefield. His first start was terrific; his second was undermined by a lot of sloppy singles and lousy fielding, though he was clearly not sharp. Two starts and a couple of mop-up jobs are hardly a fair test. Lackey looks like he is missing a lot more from his former skill set than Wakefield.

  3. yankeesfanlen - May 11, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    To resolve a question posed:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old-Timers'_Day

    Grumpy and Beewp-beep will have their afternoon filled with activites.

  4. BC - May 11, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Here’s a good one. Who is the oldest great or really good Red Sox player still alive. I was going to say Dom Dimaggio, but I did my homework, and sadly he had passed away in 2009. We’re close to getting into Yaz territory, but he’s only 71. There’s gotta be someone older.

    • Detroit Michael - May 11, 2011 at 11:03 AM

      Bobby Doerr. He’s 93 years old, still alive (according to Baseball-Reference.com anyway), is a Hall of Famer, and spent his entire playing career with Boston.

      • aceshigh11 - May 11, 2011 at 12:17 PM

        Add Johnny Pesky to the list as well.

        He’s 91, and still sharp as a tack. I saw him being interviewed a couple of years ago and couldn’t believe his age, because he was recalling events and telling stories like they happened yesterday.

      • heynerdlinger - May 11, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        When you tell the same stories for 50-odd years, they tend to stick with you.

      • BC - May 11, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        Thank you folks. That would have bothered me all day.

  5. deathmonkey41 - May 11, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Wakefield should just retire and become Aaron Boone’s personal b1tch!

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